Maya Rudolph, who stars with Fred Armisen in the Amazon series ‘Forever,’ calls her character a “badass bitch.”
Secrecy is the name of the game going into the Sept. 14 premiere of Amazon’s Forever, starring Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen and created by Alan Yang (Master of None) and Matt Hubbard (Parks and Recreation). Even at the Sept. 10 New York premiere at the Whitby Hotel, its cast and crew were mum about what’s in store for those looking to binge the show come Friday.
“We really wanted to keep the premise under wraps,” Hubbard explained on the red carpet. “But the one-liner of it for now is that it’s Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen are playing a couple in Riverside, California, who’ve been married, like, 15 years — and then a bunch of weird stuff happens to them. We really want the audience to sort of discover it for themselves.”
“They can go in without expectations and enjoy the series for what it is,” Yang later added.
Rudolph, for one, is all for keeping a zipped lip. The first trailer for the show, for instance, features Rudolph and Armisen as June and Oscar enjoying the everyday pleasantries of American suburbia — until the monotony of that sunny life seems to get the better of June. There are frames in the 90-second spot of her looking vacant and depressed. She’s shown determinedly running on the beach in the middle of the night, and is eventually framed standing in front of a roaring bonfire, her face hopeless and eyes glassy. Could this be an indication of the “weird” things to come? Rudolph said she likes that the preview doesn’t give much away, as they so often do. “It just makes me look like a badass bitch!”
“I wasn’t intending on being cagey, but [the secrecy] does actually bring up the idea that it’s important to view [something] on your own and have your own experience,” she continued. “I think in this case, it really matters for the story. It’s good for people to see it in their own way [rather than] have someone say, ‘This is what happens. You’re gonna like it or not like it.’ ”
Both Armisen and Rudolph, who serve as executive producers on the series, also explained that the premise of Forever came after meeting with Yang about a year and a half ago to brainstorm.
“We came to this project with the idea of just wanting to work together,” Rudolph said of fellow Saturday Night Live alum Armisen. “We wanted to play a married couple, or just a couple, really, and we didn’t know where that would go. It wasn’t until we sat down with Alan Yang and talked about ideas that we realized [we had] so many, and we sort of just sent a bunch of stuff. We worked backwards, and that’s when we arrived on Oscar and June and this marriage and we decided that that seemed like a good place to begin.”
Playing the every man and every woman to their typically zany sketch comedy caricatures of SNL, Portlandia, and Maya & Marty fame was also appealing for their latest project, they said.
“I’m used to putting on wigs and stuff, which is not a bad thing, but it is interesting coming to work every day and I just look like this,” Armisen enthused, gesturing to his natural attire. “And then that’s it. It’s not a judgement call on good or bad, it’s just very different.”
Yang added that he, too, enjoyed the opportunity to show Rudolph and Armisen “in a different light and show what amazing range they have” by having this altogether “normal” married couple put in extraordinary circumstances.
“I feel like they play really grounded, real characters in this,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for them to show people the talent they have, and I hope we did that.”